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Would you say something to the RE teacher about this comment?

(60 Posts)
chicaguapa Mon 03-Feb-14 13:02:44

If the RE teacher was talking about God creating the world and switching on the lights on the sun, moon and stars and then a DC (not mine) said "Excuse me miss, but the moon isn't lit, it's lit up by the sun" and the RE teacher responded '"Ah, but that's what science would like us to believe", would you say anything?

DH (a science teacher) is climbing the walls with unbridled fury.

Bowlersarm Mon 03-Feb-14 13:04:32


Science is directly opposed to RE isn't it? Each subject will contradict the other.

MerryMarigold Mon 03-Feb-14 13:07:01

Ermmm...I don't think that comment could have been serious! I don't actually know anyone religious (Muslim, Christian, Jew, Hindu) who would agree with the teacher's comment. It's got nothing to do with religion.

And no religion and science are not 'directly opposed' FGS. Loads of top scientists are religious.

EverybodysStressyEyed Mon 03-Feb-14 13:07:30

I wouldn't complain. At secondary level I would expect the kids to be able to have their own opinion an realise she is just giving hers

Bowlersarm Mon 03-Feb-14 13:07:41

Fair enough.

Bowlersarm Mon 03-Feb-14 13:08:45

Oh 'fair enough'. FGS.

EverybodysStressyEyed Mon 03-Feb-14 13:09:50

My physics teacher was extremely religious. He gave us his scientists view on what the star of Bethlehem was etc etc

LoopyDoopyDoo Mon 03-Feb-14 13:11:08

I would want to for sure

meditrina Mon 03-Feb-14 13:11:22

There is no inherent contraction between science and religion.

I think that it does need to be rebutted in this case, as it is something which is subject to observation and proof. Or is the teacher trying to say that eg the moon landings never happened? Or explicitly repudiating the (Vatican approved) work by a Jesuit who is the "father of the Big Bang theory"?

If it was an area which is not subject to proof, then it would be a different matter.

But the idea that all science is a "belief" is just too woolly to be acceptable.

(I can imagine good classroom discussions on the nature of proof, the role of evidence, the difference between a theory and a law etc. but cannot imagine a teacher such as you describe leading one effectively).

fancyanotherfez Mon 03-Feb-14 13:12:23

I would mention something. It's not 'what science would lead us to believe' it's what science has proven! How can God switch on the moon and the Sun and stars? The teacher should have said that it was an allegory!

Ubik1 Mon 03-Feb-14 13:12:54

It's important know...stick to the facts when you are teaching children. Good for that child in speaking up. And it's orbits the sun not vice versa. Ask Galileo he was tortured for these theories

I do wonder whether the teacher was serious or whether they were just trying to get into some sort of christian mindset...or something...

chemenger Mon 03-Feb-14 13:15:27

I don't think science and RE have to be opposed. RE should be about exploring what different people believe, how this leads them to behave and to encourage questioning thought about belief, morality and society. It should not be about putting forward any one set of beliefs as a single truth. Science is about demonstrable fact, that does not mean you cannot believe in something you cannot prove to be true or untrue. So it would be fine to say "some people believe that god created the sun, moon and stars and switched them on like lights", but not at all fine to deny scientific fact that the moon is lit by reflected light.

chicaguapa Mon 03-Feb-14 13:15:59

No, I wouldn't complain as such. Just thought I might mention it at the next parents evening as in a 'please don't make out to DD that science is trying to pull the wool over our eyes'.

Plenty of parents complain to the science department about how evolution is taught, though DH would never ever directly contradict RE. If someone said that they thought God had made the moon shine, not the sun, DH would just say that that was another theory because he has to.

Maybe that's the source of his anger - that he has restrictions but the RE department doesn't.

I'm fairly amibivalent tbh, I think DD is capable of seeing what's what. And I'm just happy the teacher was in the classroom with them as she has a history of giving them worksheets and then sitting in the staff room doing her marking. hmm

The Head of Science at DH's school is very religious btw so I wouldn't say they were opposites. Not sure how that works, but it does.

FirConesAtXmas Mon 03-Feb-14 13:16:02

Very odd comment and I would definitely say something. BTW my DC attend a catholic secondary and have never had anything like that said to them.

Ragwort Mon 03-Feb-14 13:16:14

No I wouldn't say anything; it would make you sound pedantic.

The most evangelical, religious person I know is a scientist. confused

He would give you his explanation and it would take a couple of hours.

volestair Mon 03-Feb-14 13:16:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hollyhunter Mon 03-Feb-14 13:16:29

if the teacher is teaching something you dont agree with, then its up to you to tell your children what you believe.

so i would have said... yes the teacher and lots of people think that , but we believe and it has been proved by science that.....

i dont believe that getting all furious about it helps in any way at all

My friends 6 year old said that the christians were rubbish for not allowing galelio (sp) to look through his telescope!

i got all angry at the school telling my dd that there isnt a father christmas (in a book) she was 5. when i bounded up to the school to complain, they said... but he isnt real, and you are lying to your dd, how will she feel when she knows you have lied to her.

I told her that some people, who dont believe in the magic of christmas, dont believe in FC. that covered it for a few years, but this year i came clean and told her that there wasnt a fc exactly, but the magic of christmas is that parents all over the world, all do something for no thanks at all, because fc gets all the thanks. isnt that wonderful?

Bowlersarm Mon 03-Feb-14 13:18:04

But how does a scientist, who is also religious and believes in God, explain the creation of man?

(Simple explanation please!)

Ubik1 Mon 03-Feb-14 13:19:33

Bowlersarm -Well I suppose it depends on your conception of God.

Bowlersarm Mon 03-Feb-14 13:21:04

Ubik1 not quite that much of a simple explanation grin. What do you mean?

MerryMarigold Mon 03-Feb-14 13:21:06

That God created man, albeit through using evolution. (One explanation amongst many)

Chica, I would clarify before even bringing things up at a parent's evening:
- What exactly was said by kid and teacher
- What the intention was in saying it

Maybe the teacher wanted to create a debate. I can't believe anyone believes the sun doesn't light up the moon. It's not even like evolution where there are lots of theories going on. It's more like the world being flat.

MrsSquirrel Mon 03-Feb-14 13:21:35

Your DH is right to be furious. I wouldn't bother saying anything to the teacher, who is clearly a nutter misinformed.

I would talk to my child about why the teacher is wrong about that, how science and religion are not in opposition, plenty of scientists are religious, that you can understand how the sun, moon and stars are lit and also have religious beliefs, etc.

catsrus Mon 03-Feb-14 13:23:07

If it was an otherwise good RE teacher it might have been said in a joking way - but it didn't come off. If the RE teacher is in any way anti science then they are not a good RE teacher. Religion and Science are not opposed, I am a scientist (PhD) who used to also be an RE teacher. Good RE, as it should be taught in the UK, never opposes good science education.

I used to tell my students that Religion is about looking for meaning and is trying to answer the "why?" questions in life - the questions people have asked for thousands of years, "why are there people and animals?" "why are there women and men?" "why is there good and evil?" "why do bad things happen to good people?". Early civilisations wrote stories to try to explain why these things happened and that's the legacy of religious texts we have. If we look at the texts as an attempt by early people to make sense of their world then they become much more interesting IMO.

Science is not interested in meaning in the same way - Science is looking to explain How things happen, e.g. "what is the mechanism behind the fact we have diverse species of animals?" and comes up with theories to explain this. The best theory we have to explain this diversity is the theory of evolution. Psychology, as a science, asks what are the mechanisms involved in people becoming "evil" or deviant. Neither psychology not biology concern themselves much with "what does this mean for us as human beings?".

You can be a fabulous RE teacher and not believe in god, you can be a Nobel prize winning scientist and believe in god. There is nothing mutually exclusive.

senua Mon 03-Feb-14 13:23:16

There are two points here:
1) God switching on the light, or not. You can argue that forever depending on religious / scientific viewpoint
2) "Excuse me miss, but the moon isn't lit, it's lit up by the sun." Spot on DC. The moon does not emit light, it only reflects it. The teacher is wrong here.

chicaguapa Mon 03-Feb-14 13:23:57

I can imagine good classroom discussions on the nature of proof, the role of evidence, the difference between a theory and a law etc. but cannot imagine a teacher such as you describe leading one effectively

Indeed. That's probably the source of my involvement in this. I love theology (though I am not religious) and have tried to get DD to engage with it as I think it could be a genuinely interesting subject. If only she had a better teacher.

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